Forest Tree improvement | Forest Genetics Resources

Forest Tree Improvement: Intro

As the size of the population increasing at very high pace day by day. The basic needs of human being are also increase on higher pace. To fulfill these need we can’t rely only on natural resources, or we need to improve the productivity of these natural resources. With the increase of population high pressure is generated on the forest ecosystem. Continuously, during  the second world war forests are exploited at very high pace with improved techniques but other technique to regenerate the forest are not invented as required. One of the step to increase the productivity of particular tree species or forest is Forest tree improvement. In this way we can select the desirable species which will fulfill the requirement of high wood and other forest resources and reduce the pressure on forests.

Mainly 3 terms are used in Tree breeding: Forest Genetics, Forest Tree Breeding and Forest Tree Improvement

  1. Forest Genetics: It is the Study of heredity and variation in the forest plant species.
  2. Forest Tree breeding: It is the Study of improving economically important characters in forest tree species.
  3. Forest tree Improvement: Application of genetics principles to the improvement and management of fores tree species. it is combination of silviculture and tree parentage to obtain or develop the characters for which we can get greatest overall return.

Major Problem which occurs in the Tree Improvement

  1. Time: When trees are compared with other crops or small plants, tree are long-living organism, which may require years to produce the desired traits. So, they take years to bear flower and seed. The tree breeder must adjust his procedure to compansate for this fact
  2. Use of Indirect Evidence: The characteristics of a trees are controlled by the gene of trees and with interaction of particular environment. Genetic Material can’t give information directly about the expression, it must be assessed by indirect means, i.e. by growing the offspring of the tree and observing the characteristics. Again long time of rotation of tree make the problem more complicated.
  3. Uncertainly and Need for Continuous Experimentation: Most of the tree improvement experiment follows the general rules. But if breeder or forester have to obtain additional gain, then he have to continuous Experimentation.
  4. Necessity of Seed Production: Reproduction by seed is a necessary part of any tree improvement work. Some trees are not grown their own seeds. Thus, a tree breeder needs to be concerned with seed production, and must often devote a part of his efforts to experiments on the stimulation of flowering and Fruiting.
  5. No come Back: If we grow a tree plantation we can’t replaced it in midway by other seeds because it leads to the high economic loss.
  6. Scarcity of Basic Genetic Information about Trees: Trees are not drawn under plantation as old as normal crop plants. So, in the crops we can get the highly improved narrow genetic base. But, in tree breeding we can get unimproved wild types that have a very broad genetic base, or with trees that have been selected for two or three generations at most.
General Steps in Tree Improvement Program:
  1. A determination of the species, or geographic source within a species, that should be used in a given area.
  2. A determination of the amount, kind and cause of variability within the species All variations among trees are result of 3 things
    1. the differing environment in which the trees are growing
    2. the genetic differences among trees and
    3. the interactions between tree genotypes and the environments in which they grow.
  3. A packaging of the desired qualities into improved individuals, such as to develop trees with combinations of desired characteristics.
  4. Mass producing improved individuals for reforestation purposes.
  5. Developing and maintaining a genetic base population broad enough for needs in advanced generations.

Other words about Tree improvement will comes in our next articles

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